Thursday September 8, 2005

With the ship now stilled and the  tempestuous succession dispute hopefully  behind them, the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party  ( SLPP ) is said to be mulling the next problem, which is the choice of a running mate for Presidential candidate, Solomon Berewa. A political insider told COCORIOKO  yesterday that the SLPP  has acknowledged the fact that Berewa’s running mate was central to victory for the party in the 2007 General Elections.

The SLPP  was said to be giving special attention to the the problem of creating a tribal balance in the monumental task of appointing Berewa’s running mate. The SLPP always enjoyed massive support in her traditional stronghold of the South and Eastern Province but for any party to win an election in Sierra Leone it has to penetrate its rivals stronghold and wrestle significant votes from there. This explains why parties always strive to ensure that their election mantra had a tribal balance.

Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora who participated in thrilling post-convention debates  online yesterday also discussed the SLPP’s next dilemma–Berewa’s running mate.

The political insider who spoke to COCORIOKO  agreed with Sierra Leoneans online about some of the names they mentioned as likely candidates for Berewa’s running mate. The most prominent name among the speculated choices is Minister of Foreign Affiars and International Cooperation, Mr. Momodu Koroma, who, according to the insider,  is one of the most loyal ministers to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. During the 1997/98 standoff in the nation following the AFRC/RUF  military coup, Koroma stuck closely to President Kabbah and was Minister of Presidential Affairs in the SLPP  government in exile. Infact,  the insider went on, he was one of those who stood firm that the government should not treat the intrasigence of Junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma lightly.

Another name mentioned was the Minister of Country Planning and the Environment, Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay. The former top official in the Ministry of Education before he entered politics, Sesay was described  by the insider as a man carrying a lot of clout and who could help the SLPP immensely to prise some significant votes from the North.

Also named was the Deputy Commissioner of the National Commission for Social Action ( NaCSA), Mr. Justin Bangura who is said to have very impressive credentials and experience , having served in many important capacities  in the Northern Province and the capital.

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